But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t good deals to be had at local auctions, because as intimidating as it may sound, there’s a reason dedicated bidders still show up to these things every week. You just have to remain skeptical and attentive if you want to take home the right ride, because you never know what might show up, and by using these 10 tips, you might land a gem.

Treasury Department Auctions:  The other agency very active in holding auctions is the Treasury Department, with roughly 300 sales per year. Treasury often offers in-person previews in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. Treasury auctions off "property forfeited as a result of violations of federal law enforced by the Department of Treasury or nonpayment of Internal Revenue Service taxes," according to its website. There are many categories of goods, including concrete items like antiques and coins but also less tangible property like stocks and patents.
The goods you buy from government auctions are “as is.” Look on the “Terms and Conditions” page before bidding to understand the process. A typical auction page states, for example, that the auction site doesn’t guarantee the quality of the product in any way. Once you bid, you enter a legally binding contract, and you need to follow through with your bid.
Inspect the vehicles. Attend the preview times (sometimes a day or two before the auction or earlier that day), and check out the vehicles that fit your interest. During these times, you can carefully look at the car's interior and exterior, and you can start the engine but not go out for a test drive. In all cases, the vehicles are sold as-is, so take into account the possibility of costly mechanical problems. The auction company will sometimes provide information only if it's critical to the safety of the vehicle, but all vehicles in these auctions are deemed roadworthy. It might be a good idea to take your trusty mechanic along to the preview so you can get his or her gut feeling about the vehicle.
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The goods you buy from government auctions are “as is.” Look on the “Terms and Conditions” page before bidding to understand the process. A typical auction page states, for example, that the auction site doesn’t guarantee the quality of the product in any way. Once you bid, you enter a legally binding contract, and you need to follow through with your bid.
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